Omnitracs' Road Ahead blog

Prepare your last-mile operation for holiday season shopping spikes

Chris C
Chris Chappelear
Senior Product Marketing Specialist

It’s never too early to prepare for the holiday season — especially if you’re leading a last-mile operation.  

New research indicates around 38% of holiday shoppers in the U.S. are likely to begin their holiday shopping before Halloween. Traditionally, all arrows pointed toward the day after Thanksgiving as the start of the holiday season. Some still adhere to this unspoken rule, but anyone who has online shopped or frequented a store can see how early businesses prepare for the holiday season. Halloween shelves are quickly replaced with holiday-season merriment in the form of products, confirming that fleet management leaders should be preparing for the holiday season as soon as possible.  

Last-mile delivery during the holiday season and beyond opens a critical window for you to connect your solutions, streamlining the way you do business on one platform. Here’s how. 

Last-mile planning before wheels are in motion 

If you’re a last-mile routing leader, you may likely have ample historical delivery and transportation data at your disposal. When you have this data in one area, you can gain actionable insights into your fleet, driver, and customer needs months or even up to a year in advance, preparing the resources you’ll need during the busy holiday season or the post-holiday lull.  

Once you get closer to executing individual route plans, you can use intelligent routing algorithms to set up the best routes for each driver, taking critical factors into account—including traffic patterns and customer needs. Best of all, you can work in those oh-so-familiar last-minute orders that could otherwise throw a wrench in your driver’s day-to-day.  

Help drivers along the ride  

Last-mile drivers must keep track of excess order quantities during the holiday season, so your priority will be enabling them for success in a way that doesn’t feel complicated or cumbersome.  

In addition to utilizing video safety solutions and creating stop-by-stop task lists, you can create a satisfactory driver experience by: 

  • Improving communication between drivers and dispatchers, so both parties have proper visibility and aren’t struggling to communicate with one another 
  • Ensuring customers stay aware of their order status and updates with proactive notifications that free up your phone lines from repetitive “Where’s my order?” calls 
  • Utilizing modern proof of delivery functionalities, so drivers can collect signatures, scan barcodes, and take delivery photos on the go 

Repeat and revamp with fleet intelligence 

The holiday season can open a well of insights into your last-mile routing operation. The beauty of connecting your solutions on one platform is you have all your vital data flowing through a single source of truth.  

When you have all your reliable transportation data in one place, you can transform it into meaningful views of business performance and obtain key performance indicators (KPIs). With valuable data, comprehensive visibility, and a holistic last-mile delivery strategy, you can gift your teams with many successful holiday seasons. 

Thank you for reading! Keep preparing for the holiday season with tips from this blog article on fleet safety. May your deliveries be merry and bright!